Bank of Kigali (BK) introduced three new products as part of its business plan for this year, an indication that competition is driving innovation within the banking industry.
The products, which target women, youth entrepreneurs as well as senior citizens, will officially be launched next week and are aimed at improving incomes of the less privileged.
“The first product will mainly target women on the low end market hence giving them the privilege to access loans, as well as access business advisory services from the bank,” said, Lawson Naibo, BK’s Chief Operations Officer (COO).
The product intends to uplift the livelihood of Rwandan women and transform them into financial independence.
The youth entrepreneurship product, Naibo said, aims to promote the savings culture among the youth and help them acquire loans to start up small businesses.
“BK did not have focused youth products that promote investment; this new product will inspire youth to open bank accounts and save as little as Rwf1,000.
The discipline they show will enable the bank to lend to them for small businesses even without asking for securities.”
He added that: “We will recruit as many youth as possible from universities and teach them how to save as much money as possible and get loans, which they will repay easily from their business centers.”
Naibo underscored that the senior citizens’ product would focus on facilitating retired personnel with loans, which they would repay using their pensions.
On the sustainability of the programmes, Naibo said that the bank acquired US$20 million grant and six million Euros to fund the products and shield the bank from related risks.
“We have a role to significantly transform the socioeconomic development of Rwanda and to improve people’s lives; this is one of our steps towards achieving the 2020 goals,” Naibo said.